Sr. Mary Ellen McAleese
November 22, 2013
Personal Ponderings of Thanksgiving and Advent
As I leave behind my pen and paper and now put my fingers to the keyboard, I offer what I write as Personal Ponderings centered around Thanksgiving(my favorite holiday) and Advent (my favorite liturgical season.) So, come, let us journey together!
Thanksgiving has always been an important holiday for me because, at least in theory, our whole nation is invited to PAUSE and GIVE THANKS. Thanks for the smallest of blessings (if any blessing is ever small) to the greatest blessing of all—the breath of life given to you each moment.
STOP now---receive a breath---give thanks!
Countless are the times you have heard the song, “over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go”. As an adult, you might ponder: what do “over the river” and “through the woods” symbolize for me? Who holds for me the meaning of “grandmother’s house?” To whom or where do I still go “giving thanks”, even as the list gets longer and I get older? You are never too old to say “thank you”.
What are some of your most memorable Thanksgiving Days? Why? When was the last time you made a list of people and things that fill your heart with thanks?
Is Thanksgiving just a lovely holiday celebrated once a year or when you gather at Eucharist do you see it as a conscious Celebration of “Thanks-giving”?
How often each day do you say “thank you” to someone? Is it a sincere and conscious “thank you”? Do you thank someone even if what they’re doing is part of their job?
How do you accept a “thank you”?
In addition to the conscious giving/receiving of thanks is the practice of “giving thanks” in advance. Upon awakening, offer such words as “I give thanks in advance for all the blessings of this day.” Watch how this calls you to attention during the day, making you grateful for all of life regardless of how it may be disguised and also opening you up to ever greater possibilities.
The primary pondering I offer for the season of Advent is the invitation to find ways to make Advent the Adventure it once was or to PUT some ADVENTure back into ADVENT!
Just think about that first Advent – what an adventure for all involved –even the Babe in the womb!
Typically, Advent gets lost in the dust of the Christmas rush and the adventure to see how much can be saved by being the first 50 in the store lines the day after Thanksgiving.
Decorating and partying begin to happen so early that by the 25th, we are exhausted and often in any mood but merry.
What if we waited to do some of the external Christmas stuff until just a week before? What might happen inside of us? What might happen outside of us? Maybe you’d like to explore this ADVENTure!
After all ADVENT is all about WAITING.
A Waiting On Whom
A Waiting On What
A Waiting On When
A Waiting On Where
A Waiting On Why
Advent is a Life-Long Waiting
By a “WOW” experience
And in that moment
We know the Whom…What…When…Where…Why…
Wonder Of Wonders!!!
Wishing you and yours…
A Blessed Thanksgiving & An Adventuresome Advent.
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